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Riverfront development plan aims to connect Southbank cities


An 11-mile walking and biking trail is the centerpiece of a new economic development plan unveiled Thursday for Northern Kentucky's riverfront.  Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland says Riverfront Commons would link six cities from Fort Thomas to Ludlow as part of Imagination 2020.

He says the trail would use a series of intersections called nodes to connect with places in each community.

"A good example would be a node that would lead from the Ohio River area up to say MainStrasse in Covington, or the Northern Kentucky Convention  Center, or the new Gateway Community and Technical College in Covington, or Newport on the Levee, or the retail area in the city of Bellevue," said Moreland.

Other aspects of the plan include redeveloping the Ludlow Lagoon for recreational activities;  extending Kentucky Route 9 in Newport to improve traffic flow and augment riverfront development sites; and developing Manhattan Harbor, a 100-acre site in Dayton, for residential and commercial use.  

Professional planner Mashall Slagle worked with Southbank's member cities and volunteers to craft Imagination 2020.  The plan took more than a year to develop.

Moreland says there's no dollar figure on the plan yet.  He says the Army Corps of Engineers has to do a feasibility study first.